New police and fire HQ building stands tall

December occupancy?

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY Snow is shown falling recently among the steel and concrete of the new, joint Marshalltown Police and Fire Department Headquarters building taking shape in the 900 block of South Second Street.

On Tuesday, falling snow swirled around passenger cars and city buses as they drove by the joint Marshalltown Police and Fire headquarters construction site in the 900 block of South Second Street.

No laborers could be seen working outside on steel beams and concrete block which seemingly reached for the sky.

Marshalltown voters overwhelmingly approved the not-to-exceed $17.5 million dollar project in August, 2016.

Now 19 months after the pivotal vote, City Public Works Director Justin Nickel said approximately 38 percent of the project is complete.

“And, as of Feb. 13, an estimated $3.6 million has been spent,” said Nickel. “Due to winter weather, the project is approximately two weeks behind schedule, but I expect contractors to make that up this spring, summer and fall to meet the December occupancy timeline.”

Story Construction of Ames was hired by the city as project manager, and regularly reports to Nickel and the city council.

The August 2016 special election saw voters endorse the measure by a 1,058-vote margin, 2,273 to 1,215.

Yes votes equaled 65.17 percent to 34.83 percent no.

Critically, the affirmative votes easily exceeded the 60 percent threshold required by Iowa law for passage, due to the city’s reliance on borrowing a not to exceed amount of $17.5 million.

A total of 3,491 votes were cast, or 21.53 percent of the electorate.

A local citizen’s advisory committee, chaired by attorney Paul Peglow, had recommended to the city council it build a new joint facility.

The current police headquarters at 22 N. Center St., and fire house at 107 S. First Ave. — have serious building or size deficiencies — and remodeling options for both were ruled out by all as being cost prohibitive.

Assisting the advisory committee were Jim Classe, Curtis Fields and Steve Riley of Prochaska & Associates of Omaha, Neb.

The firm was hired by the city in the fall of 2015 after a competitive process.

At a groundbreaking celebrated in October of last year, emcee and then Mayor Jim Lowrance thanked voters for their support. He then reminded attendees the late First Ward Councilor Bob Schubert had long campaigned for the new facility.

“In 2013, Bob received permission from his wife to run for office one more time so he could work to provide Marshalltown’s police and fire departments a facility they could be proud of,” said Lowrance.

Schubert died in February, 2017.

He proudly served the working-class influenced ward approximately 30 years.

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Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com